Doneraile Court,  Co Cork.

Getting into Doneraile Court involves climbing past the fallen rim of a balustrade which once enclosed the orangery where diarist and diplomat Harold (...)

“After careening wildly to the right across a number of lanes, the former cabinet minister swerved left before stopping in the middle of the road.” Photograph: Getty Images

We were leaving a party in an inaccessible corner of central London and the former cabinet minister’s offer of a lift home was generous and welcome. W(...)

Lord Dufferin (in the top hat, back row) at a family gathering in Barrackpore, India, around 1880. Photograph: Alinari via Getty

‘He is I suppose the most popular man in Europe, but what a bore it must be, having to keep up such a reputation.” This 1879 judgment of the first (...)

June Blake’s exciting, contemporary garden in County Wicklow. Photographs: Richard  Johnston

‘New beginnings”, “a fresh start”, “a new leaf”; these are the words that rattle round our heads in the fledgling weeks of a brand new year. In the(...)